Carrie Adams joined Norman Goodfellows, one of Joburg’s most prominent wine and spirit merchants in 1997. She fell in love with wine while in London in the 1980s, and since then has expanded her interest to the study and marketing of all things found behind a bar counter. This is her guide to one of South Africa's most quintessential drinks - brandy.
While we enjoy one of the world’s best climates, all we need is a few arctic, windswept days and you’ll see us dashing shamelessly for unattractive woolly tights, polo necks, windbreakers, beanies and boots. Comfort is to be found alongside glowing fires, rich oxtail hotpots, homemade soup and hot chocolate, and in liquid gold, the other best way to warm the heart.
Klipdrift Premium recently took top spot at the World's Best Brandy Awards, held in London. Our very same, home-grown ‘Klippies’ that, in South Africa, has for years shared space with Coca-Cola in a multitude of glasses. The judges of this prestigious award noted “aromas of milk chocolate, sponge cake and caramel with a gentle woodiness and a sweet, fruity finish’’. Who would have thought? But then again, not many people know that the quality of South African Brandies is easily pitted against the best aged Cognacs out of France. We produce simply delicious brandy – mostly distilled from Chenin Blanc grapes.
The Klipdrift label owned by Distell is produced in the Western Cape town of Robertson. Klipdrift Export is a blended brandy best served with a mixer (something most other country’s brandy drinkers are unfamiliar with). Then there’s the Klipdrift Premium described above – rich layers of smoothly distilled fruit and caramels which I personally love to sip neat. And lastly, Klipdrift Gold, a handcrafted brandy that is a unique blend of superior pot still brandies aged for up to 21 years. As a result, it is beautifully full-bodied with layers of nut, peach, chocolate and toffee aromas and flavours.
The first Klipdrift was distilled in South Africa in 1938 but the origins of brandy go back as far as the 15th century. France boasts two Brandy producing regions, Cognac and Armangac, but the whole of Europe lays claim to having distilled a brandy or an Eau de Vie at some time. Brandy is produced from the distillation of wine, which is then (usually) aged in old French Oak barrels. The barrels lend their own special flavours and aromas depending on the levels of toasting on the barrel and the length of time the brandy is left to quietly lie.
The Klipdrift range of brandies is incredibly affordable for the quality product you are buying and whether you are an age-old fan or a newcomer to this City of Gold – you can’t but enhance your experience with a glass of beautiful liquid ‘Klipdrift’ gold.
One of South Africa's most popular spirits you can find Klipdrift on sale in bars across the country. To try Klipdrift Premium and Gold head to Joburg's leading fine wine and spirit merchants Norman Goodfellows at 192 Oxford Rd, Illovo, tel. +27 11 788 4814 and also at Melrose Arch. www.ngf.co.za
WIN! Buy any bottle of Tanquerary 10 gin from Norman Goodfellows before May 31st and be in with the chance to win a Life Day Spa voucher worth R2850.